Musings on Immigration

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Keep Your Domestic Violence and Marriage Fraud Out of the Charlotte Immigration Court

Charlotte, North Carolina opened its new immigration court on November 4th, 2008. We have an experienced immigration judge who has been adjudicating cases for over the past 10 years. She is fast and she is smart. She is also a former prosecutor who has NO TOLERANCE for domestic violence or marriage fraud. If your case has either of these two issues, hire a lawyer and get it taken care of LONG before you enter into her court room.

If you have a conviction for domestic violence, find a lawyer and get it reopened and plead down to anything else. Disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, jay-walking, whistling under water…anything…! Or make sure that you get lawyer that can explain that there was never an actual conviction for domestic violence.For example, the lawyer will explain that you were charged with domestic violence and took some anger management classes but you never actually admitted any guilt. Under this scenario you do not have a “conviction” for domestic violence. Have your lawyer ready to address this issue in court EVEN before you address what your case is actually about.

Marriage Fraud. Not so easy to prove. Plenty of people take YEARS to get a divorce because it is such an emotionally messy issue to deal with. Plenty of people have relationships after marriage but just don’t take the time and effort to tie up those legal loose ends to get a divorce. That is until they or their significant other end up in immigration court.

“Does your current wife know of your recent divorce and that you married her a day after your divorce was final?”

“Yes your honor, my wife is standing right here behind me.”

“Mmmmhmmmm….”

Please be ready to submit photos, statements from friends and family from ANYONE who knows that you have a real relationship. This is particularly true if you have only been married a few days. Again, just because a marriage is new does not mean that it is not REAL. Just be ready to prove it.

The Charlotte immigration court is a great place to practice. If you have any relief under the law the judge will be more than happy to explore with you and give you plenty of time to find a lawyer. Just be aware of these issues that the judge finds troublesome. And I will end with the two words that she tells everyone in her court at the conclusion of their case.

“Good Luck.”

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